Samot

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Samot is a deity of Hieron who first appears to Hadrian and Lem King in a vision during their exploration of the Tower of Eventide. He is associated with knowledge and learning, as well as celebration and leisure, as the God of Books and Wine. He is also associated with wolves.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

Samot has pale skin, wavy blond hair, and either blue or violet eyes. His appearance and initial concept are directly inspired by Reinhard von Lohengramm from the anime Legend of Galactic Heroes, who Austin describes as "the most pretty boy of pretty boy animes that there are". He wears a pure white cape that looks like silk or linen, but feels like wolf's fur to the touch.[1] His hairstyle has changed several times over the course of the show.

During Autumn in Hieron, Samot is described as having "boyish good looks, pale skin, bright blue eyes" with "voluminous blond hair down to his shoulders".[2]

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In Marielda (season), Samot is known among Marieldans as having "blond hair, pale skin" and a "shit-eating grin". From Marielda onwards, Samot's eyes are described as violet.[3] During Spring in Hieron, a magical flashback to immediately after Samot seizes Marielda shows him wearing "polished white marble armor" with his hair in a "wavy bob".[4] Red Jack describes seeing Samot at one year after the events of Marielda: "[H]e was a king gleaming. He did not wear his royal arms. He was steeped in regality itself. His armor silver and gold, a cape that moved like a howling blade in the embered wind".[5]
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When Throndir sees Samot again during Spring in Hieron, he is wearing "all white everything" with his hair now grown out "down to his hips ... incredibly long, carefully brushed ... almost like a cape of hair". After suffering severe injuries on his way to the Last University, Samot's hair is cut off by the nurses treating him. [6] Later on, Samot's injuries are filled with starstuff, resulting in glowing white scars and glowing eyes.[7] This effect is presumably reversed at the end of Spring in Hieron 38.

Personality[edit | edit source]

History and Involvement[edit | edit source]

Early Life[edit | edit source]

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Samot was born a Word Eater, one of numerous shadows sent to Hieron by Nothing, and was notable even among Word Eaters for "casting violence longer than any other". As a shadow he trapped and killed Severea and stole her name, but was so enchanted by its beauty that he did not return it immediately to Nothing, instead keeping it with him and traveling Hieron. In retaliation, The Heat and the Dark sent a shadow of Severea in the form of a wolf to kill him, and Samot released Severea's name during the resulting confrontation. A myth describing these events is recounted by Uklan Tel in AIH 20: Do I Feel Followed?. Samol then rewarded Samot by granting him a body, and later godhood. Samot's repentance for his actions as a shadow led Samol to affectionately give him the title "The Boy Who Apologized".[8] The song "Tell Me" is from Samol's perspective, describing Samot as a young man walking alone in the woods without telling his father what he does when he goes out.

Pre-war[edit | edit source]

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Samot later became interested in teaching mortals, but refrained from doing so out of respect for Samothes, who maintained strict control over learning and knowledge. Samot and Samothes began to develop a romantic relationship and Samothes agreed to teach him. They eventually married as well. During this time, Samot created the first book by binding together Samothes' loose blueprints and writing love poetry on the backs of the pages[9]. In helping Samothes clean up his workshop, Samot also created the first library.[10]

Out of love for Samot, Samothes finally agreed to help him found a school, meant to be "the one place where folks could learn under the blessing of the gods". Samot would later go against Samothes' wishes to bring learning to mortals beyond the walls of the First University.[11]

After Samol fell ill, he gave Samot and Samothes a mansion between their respective homes in "the rolling plains of celebration" and the City of Light. The two gods lived in that mansion with their son Maelgwyn prior to the events of Marielda. The Six discover a memory crystal inside Memoriam College wherein Aubrey becomes trapped within a vision, revealing that Samot and Samothes separated after an argument about how they should deal with the impending arrival of The Heat and the Dark.[12]

During The Quiet Year, Christopher reveals himself to have personally taught Samot, and claims in Marielda 10: Four Conversations to have known Samot "before Samot did anything". Castille also has memories of Samot asking the mages for advice before the war with Samothes.

War, Marielda, and the City of First Light[edit | edit source]

Some time after their separation, Samot and Samothes go to war with each other. The conflict eventually leads Samothes to separate the City of Light from mainland Hieron to protect it, resulting in the creation of the city of Marielda. Within Marielda, Samot is known as the The Boy-Traitor and an enemy of Samothes.

The Tower of Samot was most likely built during Samot's war on Marielda, described as a "standing city... miles and miles and miles high" (AIH 18) which served as Samot's home during this time.

At the end of The Quiet Year, Samot's army invades Marielda but is successfully driven off by Samothes' forces. Samot continues to research possible solutions to The Heat and the Dark with his closest mages, who call themselves the Disciples of Samot. He recruits Maelgwyn to his cause after Maelgwyn is rescued from the gauntlet during Marielda 08: The Valentine Affair Pt. 3, communicating via a mask in the shape of Samot's face. This research eventually leads to the mages devising a plan to have Maelgwyn kill Samothes, believing that the divine impulse caused by this could result in Maelgwyn birthing a new divine force, or that Samothes' resulting tomb could contain some kind of solution. Samot is reluctant but allows the plan to proceed, believing he can use the power of Reconfiguration to reverse the timeline if it goes badly. He also recruits Aubrey to help, appearing to her in a dream some time after she leaves the memory crystal.

In Marielda 13: The Killing of the King-God Samothes By The Traitor Prince Maelgwyn Pt. 3, Aubrey speaks with Samot while she is knocked unconscious. Samot reveals that he believes the mages may be working against him, and that he is working on a backup plan to stop the Heat and the Dark. This plan is later revealed to be the Stars.

After Samothes' death, Samot's army successfully invades Marielda. Samot becomes the new king and one year later renames it The City Of First Light, as a dedication to Samothes. Aubrey becomes his right hand, taking the role that Primo had for Samothes. Samol's narration claims that "Samot was forced to be a lord who listened to the masses of Marielda. Who had to move with care and caution ... He would need to be a new sort of god, he realized. One who worked with his people, instead of just for them."[13]

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The Winter in Hieron Holiday Special takes place in The City of First Light in the first year after Samot takes over, depicting a troubled city where Samot has abolished some of the worst practices from Samothes' rule, such as discriminatory parish districting and child labor: "There are no more children working in these factories under Samot ... he's someone who walks, he'll go tour the factory district." County Sans-Soleil reveals after being released from prison that Samot lectured him and other prisoners about rehabilitation and had them placed in metal collars with Samot's symbol on them.
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During Spring in Hieron 35: Unfinished Work, Hella Varal receives several visions of Samot ruling The City of First Light, revealing that Samot continued to work with Aubrey and Primo, converted the city to a republic, wore a disguise to mingle with the populace, and used Samothes' forge to create a sword extremely similar to the Sword of Samothes that could fight back against the Stars, The Blade of First Light.

Autumn in Hieron[edit | edit source]

Samot makes his first release-order appearance in Autumn in Hieron 04: Is it Time Already? during a shared vision experienced by Lem and Hadrian when they don the mask and the crown respectively in the Tower of Eventide. They see him standing above a crowd of people chanting his name, and he asks "is it time already?" before the vision ends. Despite the mask injuring him, Lem takes it with him. Hadrian begins to see Samot in his dreams after the encounter.

The three soldiers that the party fights in the Tower of Eventide were also sent by Samot.

Ice Party encounters Samot again in the Tower of Samot in AIH 28: A Choice About What You Believe. There, Fantasmo uses a backfired Charm spell on Samot, resulting in both Samot and Fantasmo both believing that they are long-time friends.

After Hadrian dies at the hands of Tabard, a pala-din in the service of Samot, it is revealed that Samot received Tristero's powers of death after Tristero isolated himself to Nacre. Samot swaps Tabard and Hadrian's fates to save Hadrian's life, seemingly ending Tabard's life instead. Samot then gives Hadrian his wolf-fur cloak.

Winter in Hieron[edit | edit source]

After the events of Autumn in Hieron, Samot clearly begins to respond to some of Hadrian's Guidance rolls with signs, such as the howling of wolves, or a chill that causes Hadrian to draw the wolf-fur cloak closer around himself.

After Fero's failed transformation roll that causes all the wolves in Hieron to disappear, Samot becomes The Last Wolf Alive. One of Hadrian's guidance rolls after this event in the Moth Village causes a wolf to appear to him, which is implied to be Samot in the form of a wolf.[14]

Samot is briefly mentioned in narration at the end of "Winter in Hieron 17: Undelivered Resignations", looking over his map of Hieron and lamenting that he doesn't have enough time (presumably, before the Heat and the Dark arrive). In Winter in Hieron 24: An Open Mind, he responds to one of Hadrian's guidance rolls by sending him a ladder to climb, although Hadrian ultimately chooses not to take it.

In Winter in Hieron 25: Twenty-Two Brown Birds, Lem once again dons Samot's mask, and he sees Samot in his study, drinking wine. Samot asks him about Hadrian and Fantasmo before spilling his wine and ending the vision before Lem can respond.

Spring in Hieron[edit | edit source]

Lem, still in possession of Samot's mask, returns the mask to Samothes before he, Hadrian, Hella, and Adaire depart from Aubade, giving Samothes a way to contact Samot. It is later revealed that Samothes did speak to Samot and together they designed a special scabbard for the sword Samothes made for Hadrian in Aubade.

Samot makes contact with the Last University shortly after Hadrian returns from Aubade, asking to visit. Before his arrival, Hadrian and Ephrim stumble upon Samot's old room at the University, which contains many personal effects that Samot left behind before or during the war on Marielda: paintings of his family, unsent letters, jewelry, a promise ring, and a wolf-fur cloak.

On the day of Samot's scheduled arrival, Throndir leaves early to scout the situation. He sees Samot at the head of a caravan on a white horse, now with waist-length hair and wearing all white and gold, leading an entourage of revelers and pala-din. As the caravan crosses the bridge on the road to the University, the bridge is destroyed by an Ordennan bomb that uses material made from the Heat and the Dark, giving it the ability to seriously injure even a god. Throndir is able to save Samot and carries him back to the University, where Hadrian removes the shrapnel from Samot's body, although the wounds are filled with the Heat and the Dark and cannot be treated. (Spring in Hieron 11: Cut off the Head)

Samol arrives shortly afterwards, and gives Samot the remaining portion of his life force, the Breath of Hieron. This revives Samot from a coma and gives them enough time for a brief conversation before Samol dies in the process. When Samot realizes Samol has given his life, Hadrian sees his face turn to anger, love, and "cunning resolution" in rapid succession.

Three Stars come to Samot and offer to fill his wounds with starstuff, out of loyalty to their creator. Samot decides this is the best option he has for treating his injuries and accepts. The Heat and the Dark in his wounds are replaced with starstuff, leaving him with glowing scars and glowing eyes. (Spring in Hieron 15: The Breath of Hieron)

Samot continues to recover at the University, having friendly interactions with several of the player characters including Fero, who bonds with him over their connections with Samol.

In Spring in Hieron 27: A Place and a Time, Samot has recovered enough to help Hella and Severea battle the Solarch and the Cult of the Dark Sun. Having recently learned of the death of Dark Sun Samothes, Samot knows he has access to reconfiguration again, and uses it to repeatedly edit the battle until Hella successfully kills the Solarch. However, this process enhances the damage Hella sustains from the Heat and the Dark, since they cannot be reversed with reconfiguration and each repeat of the battle causes her to be injured further.

In Spring in Hieron 35: Unfinished Work, Samot speaks to Hadrian and asks, "What should we do if... we save the world only to suffer in it?" He laments the fate of the City of First Light, which has been conquered by the Ordennan army and renamed to Malle's Fist. Hadrian, who is planning to go to Malle's Fist, invites Samot to go with him, but Samot declines. Samot gives Hadrian a cloak to replace the one he lost years ago.

A few days later, Samot ascends to the highest tower of the University and begins to conduct the Stars to destroy what remains of Hieron, having come to the conclusion that gods and reconfiguration are the greatest evil of all. Because the people of Hieron were once able to cause the divine impulse that created Galenica, he believes he must destroy Hieron completely, including himself, and replace it with a world made of starstuff, so that a god can never again be born. Samot feels intense self-hatred and guilt and indicates himself as evil when Hadrian attempts to use What Here Is Evil. He regrets using reconfiguration during the battle with the Solarch, as it caused him to carelessly harm Hella and lie to Severea. (Spring in Hieron 36: Terrible and Necessary)

Hadrian's party retrieves Samot's Blade of First Light from the remains of the City of First Light. Samot attempts to speak to Hadrian again, begging him to drop the sword and return to the University so that he doesn't come to harm when Samot destroys the city. Hadrian outwardly agrees, but secretly hides the sword and discards Samot's cloak instead. (Spring in Hieron 37: Ingenuity and Love)

Fero confronts Samot at the University. He and Ephrim attempt to fight Samot, but are unable to stop him. Benjamin brings a magical projection of Fantasmo, created from Fantasmo's recorded lectures, up to the tower to speak to Samot. Upon seeing Fantasmo, who Samot believed to be dead, Samot is too startled to continue his attack. Fantasmo speaks to him about the importance of community, and Samot is persuaded to stand down. Not realizing that this Fantasmo is a projection, Samot remarks that he has lost Hadrian but regained Fantasmo on the same day. While Samot has his guard down, Fero attacks him, using the Spring to push the starstuff out of Samot's scars and effectively ripping Samot's body apart, killing him instantly.

Samot's soul goes to Adularia and Adelaide calls Hella and Hadrian to come speak to him. Samot, injured and crying, laments his failures. They discuss what to do with Samot, with Adelaide offering to send him into Nothing for good and Hadrian offering to let Samot live a quiet life away from other people. Hadrian asks Samot what he wants and Samot responds, "I can't have what I want." Hadrian ultimately decides to take mercy on him and send him into the Blade in the Dark so he can reunite with Samothes in Aubade, using his own starstuff sword to break the star shield over Aubade. Hella then stabs Samot with the Blade in the Dark.

Austin afterwards says "somewhere, a body washes up on a shore", indicating that Samot successfully made it to Aubade. (Spring in Hieron 38: See Where You're Standing)

Relationships[edit | edit source]

Samothes[edit | edit source]

Samot was married to Samothes, and they were in a loving relationship for a long time. Together they created the first library and the First University. Ideological differences over the Heat and the Dark and Samol's illness slowly eroded their relationship, and their uncertainty caused Maelgwyn to be born. After finally separating, they went to war with each other, and Samot was ultimately partially responsible for Samothes' death, although he regrets it. In honor of his love for Samothes, Samot renames Marielda to the City of First Light and forges the Blade of First Light. In Aubade, Samothes frequently talks about Samot, and it is clear that the two still love and think of each other as husbands.

Maelgwyn[edit | edit source]

Maelgwyn is Samot and Samothes' son, born from their lack of confidence about their ability to handle the Heat and the Dark. During the Quiet Year, Maelgwyn appears as a high-ranking soldier in Samothes' army, fighting against mages sent by Samot. Later, compelled by his desire to stop the Heat and the Dark, Maelgwyn takes Samot's side in the conflict and works with him and the mages to kill Samothes. During Winter in Hieron, the Samothes who was Maelgwyn regards Samot with disgust, spitting on the ground at the mention of Samot's name and telling Hadrian that Samot stopped visting him long ago.

Samol[edit | edit source]

Samol gave Samot a body when he was once just a shadow, and later granted him the power of a god. Samol considers Samot a son to him, and refers to him by a number of affectionate titles such as "my little prince". Post-Marielda, their relationship seems strained, as Samol is tired of his family's unwillingness to let him die. He briefly mentions it may have been a mistake to have raised Samot out of shadow, as the mere act may have made him sick in the first place. Samol sometimes answers Samot's prayers for guidance and sometimes does not. However, when Samot is on the brink of death, Samol does not hesitate to give his life to save his son, and encourages Fero to try to befriend him.

Severea and Galenica[edit | edit source]

Samot slew Severea once when he was still a shadow, and although he eventually allowed her to return to life, she never quite forgave him.

Leading the Grand Tour, Severea and Galenica now work with Samot to keep the Heat and the Dark at bay while Samot continues to research a permanent solution. Samot and Severea work together to battle the Cult of the Dark Sun at one point, although Severea still seems contemptuous of Samot, and does not seem especially fazed after he dies.

Aubrey Zosim[edit | edit source]

Samot befriends Aubrey during the events of Marielda. Although he asks her to go against her pacifistic ideals and commit violence in order to save Hieron, he treats her with affection and eventually gives her an important job and resources once he becomes king.

Hadrian[edit | edit source]

After Hadrian puts on the iron crown in the Tower of Eventide and sees Samot in a vision, Samot takes an interest in him and begins to appear in his dreams. Samot eventually saves his life when he is killed by Tabard Alon, gives Hadrian his wolf-fur cloak, and begins to respond to Hadrian's guidance calls. When Hadrian arrives in Aubade, Samothes tells him that he "can feel Samot" on him. At the Last University, Samot and Hadrian have a somewhat stilted friendship, although Samot seems to care deeply for him and Hadrian tries to help Samot where he can. Even after Samot tries to destroy the world, Hadrian still has sympathy for him, saying that "he's been separated from his family for too long".

Fantasmo and Arrell[edit | edit source]

Fantasmo uses a Charm spell on Samot during their encounter in the Tower of Samot, causing both of them to regard the other as long-time friends, with Samot's artificial memories of Fantasmo going impossibly far back. This spell winds up also having an effect on Arrell, who previously had a mild interest in Samot but afterwards develops a much stronger interest and begins to write about him in his journals as if they were old friends. Arrell expresses a desire to prove to Samot that his approach to the Heat and the Dark is wrong. He attempts to contact Samot several times with no avail and carries around a crown that he means to give to Samot.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Oteday is named after him, from the archaic form of his name.

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • "I have made my fair share of poor choices. Believe me. But you have the fire in you that I had when I was young. I respect that. I hope, like me, you find that you can pair that fire with some wine, and some love."
  • "I have to try. You know I have to try."
  • "In the time before all of this, such an action would just be another chapter in a book, turned back so easily."
  • "That is when I knew. That is I felt it, in my wounds, and in my heart, and in whatever motivates the void in the deep core of every living being into glorious motion."

References[edit | edit source]